Lansing Community College uses big eighth inning to move to second straight NJCAA World Series.
Stars use huge inning to capture Great Lakes Regional title.
JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - If there’s a ticket on the line to a NJCAA Division 2 World Series in the Great Lakes district, Lansing Community College and Kellogg Community College usually will have a say in that decision.
KCC edged LCC 15-7 on Saturday, but after holding a 6-3 lead in the rubber match Sunday, saw it evaporate after the Stars used a remarkable eight-run eighth inning, with seven of those coming with two outs, to avenge the loss and win the regional 16-8.
With the win, the Stars become the first team from the Great Lakes district to advance to back-to-back World Series’ in the last 20 years.
“We tell them all the time this is where preparation meets opportunity and today was one of those opportunities. It’s super hard to repeat and take another trip to the College World Series, LCC head coach Steven Cutter said. “Everybody starts their seasons and that’s where everybody wants to go. And for us to be making the trip back is incredibly humbling.”
The Stars had some shaky pitching in the third inning give KCC a 6-3 lead after back-to-back bases loaded walks, which was part of a four-run inning for the Bruins.
Shortly after, Cutter turned to freshman southpaw Hunter Shaw, who committed to play at Ohio State earlier this month, and Shaw stabilized things, tossing four innings in which he allowed just one hit and struck out four batters.
“To swing the momentum was definitely awesome. I was just happy when my number was called I was able to do my job,” Shaw said. “The hitters did their jobs, I did mine and now we’re here.”
Will Bowen and Hunter Lay added to the offensive explosion in the eighth, as they slugged back-to-back homers to bookend the inning.
Now riding the momentum, the Stars are much more confident heading into the World Series a second time around, and will lean on that experience this season.
“We got a lot of guys that came back that have that experience and we got a lot of young guys and I think they’re really prepared for it too,” Lay said.
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